LOCATION: HUDSON RIVER- Riverside Park South
In early spring, millions of striped bass migrate from the Atlantic Ocean up the Hudson River to spawn. The large schools attract crowds of fishermen to the shores of Manhattan. On weekend afternoons, dozens of urban anglers fish along the rail at the edge of the Hudson, hoping to pull a striper out of the water onto the pavement.
Riverside Park South is the largest new green space along the west side of Manhattan . These seven acres of parkland are the first of 27.5, which will be developed between 72nd and 59th streets. A promontory, esplanade, and winding walkway welcome visitors who wish to enjoy nature and experience the river.
Pier I, a 715-foot recreational pier, is built atop the remains of the original wooden shipping pier. Visitors to the pier are surrounded by the river almost completely, experiencing a view of Manhattan and New Jersey once reserved for sailors. It is a good spot for stripers.
“Pier I and most of Riverside Park South were originally part of the abandoned Penn Central railyard between 59th and 72nd Streets. Reconstructed to its original length of 795 feet, the pier has been narrowed considerably and is now only about 55 feet at its widest part where it once was wide enough to fit four parallel railroad tracks. Most piers are built perpendicular to the shore, but Pier I, along with its old neighbors Piers B, D, E, F and G as well as the nearby gantry, were built at a 55-degree angle to the shore to facilitate the transfer of rail cars from their tracks to a waiting barge. Only pilings remain of Piers B, D, E, F and G, but the ninety-five year old gantry remains standing today.
Although Pier I is no longer used for its original industrial purpose, it does continue to serve the community well. Park users can now fish off the pier, or just sit and enjoy the river views.”
Courtesy of Riverside Park Conservancy
AVAILABLE FACILITIES: Restrooms – O’Neals’ West 79th Street Boat Basin Cafe Restroom
FISH: Spring– Striped bass, Flounder Summer– Fluke, Bluefish Fall- Blackfish, Striped Bass and Bluefish Winter-Nada
BEST TIME AND TIDE: An hour either side of high tide. Lots of old piers and hidden debris. Bring plenty of rigs.
RATING: 3 OF 4